Sunday 7th August
Start: Two Lakes Bushcamp, off mile 2312
End: Bushcamp, mile 2331.7
I hate hiking in the rain. Once the shoes are wet on the inside it’s game over – I want to be somewhere warm and dry. Anywhere but huddled inside this damp tent, listening to the pelting, unable to get the stove out. Everything is dirty.
The day didn’t start this way. It was a typical Washington morning – cloudy. But I’m starting to get used to the mist. The difference here is that it usually burns off by mid-morning. Today it didn’t. In a strange way I enjoyed the dramatic effects the sky was playing with the mountain tops. Visibility was low (I’m sure Mount Rainer is around here somewhere?), but it felt fresh and atmospheric.
It is the weekend, and the closer we got to the highway at Chinook Pass, the more people we encountered. We kept asking for weather updates. The consensus was that rain would come later in the afternoon, with a possible thunder-storm tonight. We took few breaks and kept pushing on. If only we could get to a suitable camping spot before it started…
Just south of Chinook Pass we walked through a section carpeted with wildflowers. It was beautiful, and contrasted vividly with the grey rocks and mist. So much purple. Whilst taking photos at the forefront of my mind was the temptation to hitch off the trail at the highway and wait out the impending rain somewhere civilised. Conrad had thought of the same, but with reluctance we decided that it could jeopardise our ability to reach Canada if we used up the days. We trudged on, hopeful that the clouds would simply blow over.
We ate a quick lunch at Sheep Lake whilst doing our only water filter of the day (it was so cold we wasn’t drinking much). From there to camp the weather just kept changing, making it impossible to regulate body temperature. One minute it was cold (we enjoyed a high of 10 degrees celsius), then a peak of sun, then spitting, culminating in full-blown rain by 3pm. Did I mention that I hate walking in the rain?! It is so difficult to pee in full rain gear and gloves! What are we doing here?
Predictions for tomorrow’s weather are similarly not good. Come on! I at least need a window to dry clothes and shoes out and to cook a hot meal. Pretty please.